I have recently moved all of my 29,000+ public photos from Flickr to Google Photos. Google has been making a lot of progress with their photo services recently, including integrating Picasa into Google Photos. With everything they now offer, and how easy everything just is to use, compared to Flickr and the difficulties I have had trying to stick with them, I decided to move everything.
I made the final decision a couple weeks ago, when I found this site: http://www.flickrtoplus.com/. It allows you to simply login to Flickr, then to G+, and it lists your albums and you just choose the ones you want to migrate from Flickr to Plus. It couldn’t have been easier. I tried a few albums at first, wondering how they can afford to devote all the processing required to to this for everyone for absolutely nothing–no ads on the site, nothing, it simply works. After a few albums came through just fine, I did a dozen more, then queued up dozens more after that, then the hundreds more after that. Within a week everything was done!
It uses your “Google Drive” space for storage and allows you to keep your photos at their original size & quality–a huge factor in my decision. I recently realized that Google will scale down large photos you upload to G+, so that was disappointing, but after looking into it, using Picasa I can upload photos at their original resolution without it re-sizing them, and the flickrtoplus site also gives me the option to migrate them in original size or “large” size, which is smaller. I chose “original” for everything I migrated, and I always upload my photos full-size.
With how simple Google’s search features work, it’s just so easy to find any photo or album I need now. And Google Photos even looks simpler than Flickr’s interface, even though there are many more features you don’t see, that Flickr isn’t capable of at all. There is one thing missing from Google Photos, however, that I liked in Flickr–and that’s “Collections”. Flickr called its photo albums “Sets” and “Collections” were groups of Sets you could group together, like “Birthdays”, “Vacations”, etc. to keep things more organized. Google Photos doesn’t offer an option for this, so all of my albums (402 of them right now, to be exact) are shown on one page. I thought this would make things difficult to locate, but since Google’s search is so fast–and page searching is also so fast (using CTRL-F) I can find anything I need in my albums very quickly.
As far as price and space, it does cost a little more to go with Google than Flickr. I was paying a flat $24.99 a year for unlimited space on Flickr, which is a really good price, especially for unlimited photos at full-size. On Google, there’s a limit depending on the plan you choose: $4.99/month for 100GB, $9.99 for 200GB, $19.99 for 400GB, etc. But–and this is a BIG BUT for me–this space is combined with Gmail, Google Drive, and Photos. Right now I’m using just over 60GB for everything with all of my 29,000+ photos and everything else, so I could get by with the $4.99 a month, but I’m on the 200GB plan instead, just to have some breathing room for future photos and all of my documents, which are backed up on Google Drive, and my e-mail. So, for me, that’s $120 per year now, instead of $24.99, but it’s more than just my photos, and I just trust Google more that Flickr.
So that’s that. I’ve changed the “Photos” link on my site to go to my Google Photos Albums now instead of Flickr, and some time in December my Flickr account will downgrade to a free account. This will make only 200 of my latest photos available there, the rest will be hidden. I’ll probably delete my Flickr account at that time anyway, just to avoid people adding comments to the 200 latest photos they can see.